Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has been suspended from YouTube for a week over a video claiming that masks are ineffective against COVID-19.
Paul said in a statement that YouTube suspended his ability to upload to his official Senate account for seven days.
The Kentucky Republican said he felt “this kind of censorship is very dangerous, incredibly anti-free speech, and truly anti-progress of science, which involves skepticism and argumentation to arrive at the truth.”
As a libertarian leaning Senator, I think private companies have the right to ban me if they want to, so in this case I’ll just channel that frustration into ensuring the public knows YouTube is acting as an arm of government and censoring their users for contradicting the government,” Paul added.
YouTube answered a question no one asked, telling CNN that the video in question “resulted in a first strike on the channel, which means it can’t upload content for a week, per our longstanding three strikes policy.
“We apply our policies consistently across the platform, regardless of speaker or political views, and we make exceptions for videos that have additional context such as countervailing views from local health authorities,” a company spokesperson told CNN.
The question YouTube should answer is ‘What makes you think you can take sides in a public scientific debate?’
The Hill has reached out to YouTube for comment.
The move comes a week after YouTube removed a video of Paul being interviewed by a Newsmax journalist on the science behind wearing masks during the pandemic.
YouTube said at the time that it removed the video for falsely claiming that masks were ineffective against COVID-19.
But the video that led to the suspension was Paul’s response to the YouTube removing the earlier video, his office said.
In that second video, Paul claimed that two different studies showed that surgical masks and cloth masks didn’t protect against the coronavirus.